|Publication number||US8060346 B2|
|Application number||US 11/837,316|
|Publication date||Nov 15, 2011|
|Filing date||Aug 10, 2007|
|Priority date||Mar 16, 2007|
|Also published as||US8190400, US8423326, US20080229234|
|Publication number||11837316, 837316, US 8060346 B2, US 8060346B2, US-B2-8060346, US8060346 B2, US8060346B2|
|Inventors||Anthony Paul ASTOLFI, Peter Hartwell WEBB|
|Original Assignee||The Mathworks, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (12), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (3), Classifications (5), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of U.S. patent Ser. No. 11/687,390, entitled “THIN CLIENT GRAPHICAL PRESENTATION AND MANIPULATION APPLICATION”, filed Mar. 16, 2007, the entire content of which is incorporated by reference herein.
Graphical presentation and manipulation applications, such as, for example, three-dimensional modeling applications, are typically provided as stand-alone applications that use significant computational resources on the stand alone device to generate and render three-dimensional models for presentation and spatial manipulation by users. Unfortunately, usability of conventional modeling applications is limited to an installed user base. Moreover, providing network or remote access to model data for use in a modeling application may require significant network bandwidth and may result in significant operational latency.
One aspect is directed to a computing device-implemented method. The method may include receiving code from a server, and generating a local environment based on the code, where the local environment may be configured to display a view of the graphical model. The method may also include predicting one or more model views likely to be requested, and storing the predicted views in a memory for display in the local environment.
Another aspect is directed to a computer-readable medium that stores instructions executable by at least one processor. The computer-readable medium may include one or more instructions for generating a local environment in a client engine, wherein the local environment may be configured to display a two dimensional view of a graphical model; one or more instructions for predicting model views likely to be requested; one or more instructions for storing the predicted views in a memory for display in the local environment; one or more instructions for receiving a request to display a manipulated view; one or more instructions for determining whether the requested view has been previously stored as a predicted view; one or more instructions for retrieving from the memory the predicted view that matches the requested view; and one or more instructions for displaying the predicted view matching the requested view in the local environment.
Yet another aspect is directed to a system including client logic executing within a browser program of a client computing device. The client logic may include a user interface component to handle displaying of model views on the client computing device and a client engine component to locally handle requests from a user to manipulate spatial positioning of the model view on the client computing device, where the client logic may be configured to predict model views likely to be requested based on one of historical model view requests, or stored input device movement mappings. The system may also include server logic configured to distribute the client engine to the client computing device when requested through the browser program of the client computing device. The server logic may include a back-end server component configured to extract requested two-dimensional views from corresponding three-dimensional models, and a front-end server component configured to provide a web interface to the client computing device and forward the extracted views to the client computing device. The server logic may be further configured to receive requests from the client logic for model views corresponding to the predicted model views, extract the requested model views, and transmit the requested model views to the client logic.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the invention and, together with the description, explain the invention. In the drawings,
The following detailed description refers to the accompanying drawings. The detailed description does not limit the invention.
Exemplary embodiments described herein relate to a highly efficient and user-friendly client/server-based graphical manipulation application or module. More specifically, in one embodiment, the client/server-based graphical manipulation software may include a three-dimensional (3D) modeling or visualization application. The client/server graphical manipulation application may provide many or all of the features provided by a standard graphical manipulation application. The 3D visualization application may provide for efficient distribution and access to a number of users, without requiring specialized software tools or applications. Further, users may access the 3D visualization application from a variety of potentially remote locations.
A client entity 110 may include an entity, such as a personal computer, a laptop or notebook computer, a mobile or cellular telephone, a personal digital assistant (PDA), or another type of computation or communication device. Users of client entities 110 may access or receive information from server 120. Client entities 110 may connect to network 140 via wired or wireless connections.
Server 120 may include one or more server entities that may generally interact with client entities 110 such that client entities 110, in conjunction with server 120, execute a graphical presentation and manipulation application. In one embodiment, the graphical presentation and manipulation application may operate in conjunction with another application, such as a web browser application. Server 120 may include a graphical modeling server component 125 to facilitate operation of the graphical presentation and manipulation application.
As will be described in detail below, server 120 may include components configured to generate and render 3D models or visualizations. Each model may, in turn, be represented by numerous two-dimensional (2D) views, depending on a desired viewing angle, zoom level, and displayed content.
In accordance with embodiments described herein, 3D models or visualizations and their corresponding 2D views as generated or rendered by server 120 may be based on various types of data and information. For example, the 3D models may be based on data such as engineering data, medical data, scientific data, weather data, mathematical data, and data from other disciplines. More specifically, the models may correspond to a variety of different types of data or events, including (but not limited to) physical objects or structures, fluid flow, biological systems, weather patterns, seismic events, multi-body interactions, chemical processes, outputs from systems or devices (e.g., power curves for an engine), numerical algorithms, signal processing data, etc.
In accordance with embodiments described herein server 120 may transmit the 2D views to client entities 110 in response to user requests received at client entities 110. The transmitted views may be cached or otherwise stored by client entities 110. Additionally, server 120 may transmit software or instructions to client entities 110 to assist in enhancing a user experience for the graphical presentation and manipulation application. Although illustrated as a single device in
As mentioned above, the interaction of client entities 110 with server 120 may be accomplished through a browser program 115 or a similar application being executed at client entities 110. For example, the graphical presentation and manipulation application may be a web application that runs within browsers 115. In this manner, client entities 110 may not be required to install any graphical presentation and manipulation specific software (e.g., a dedicated data viewing application) to view and manipulate a graphical, e.g., 3D image at client entity 110. Browser programs are well known and are widely available in the art. When browsers or browser programs are discussed herein, these terms are intended to refer to any program that allows a user to browse markup documents (e.g., web documents), regardless of whether the browser program is a stand alone program or an embedded program, such as a browser program included as part of an operating system.
Processor 220 may include any type of processor, microprocessor, or processing logic that interprets and executes instructions. Main memory 230 may include a random access memory (RAM) or another type of dynamic storage device that may store information and instructions for execution by processor 220. ROM 240 may include a ROM device or another type of static storage device that may store static information and instructions for use by processor 220. Storage device 250 may include a magnetic and/or optical recording medium and its corresponding drive.
Input device 260 may include a mechanism that permits a user to input information to computing device 200, such as a keyboard, a mouse, a trackball, a track pad, a touch sensitive display, a pen, voice recognition and/or biometric mechanisms, an accelerometer or gyroscope-based motion input device, a camera, etc. Output device 270 may include a mechanism that outputs information to the user, including a display, a printer, a speaker, etc. Communication interface 280 may include any transceiver-like mechanism that enables computing device 200 to communicate with other devices and/or systems. For example, communication interface 280 may include mechanisms for communicating with another device or system via a network, such as network 140.
Graphical modeling server component 125 may be implemented in software and stored in a computer-readable medium accessible to server 120, such as memory 230. Similarly, browser 115 may be implemented in a computer-readable medium accessible to client entity 110. A computer-readable medium may be defined as one or more physical or logical memory devices and/or carrier waves.
The software instructions defining graphical modeling server component 125 may be read into memory 230 from another computer-readable medium, such as data storage device 250, or from another device via communication interface 280. The software instructions contained in memory 230 may cause processor 220 to perform processes that will be described later. Alternatively, hardwired circuitry may be used in place of or in combination with software instructions to implement processes consistent with exemplary embodiments described herein. Thus, the embodiments described herein are not limited to any specific combination of hardware circuitry and software.
A graphical presentation and manipulation application, as described herein, may be implemented as a distributed web application in which portions of the application execute at one or more of client entities 110 and at server 120. More specifically, client entities 110 that wish to use the graphical presentation and manipulation application may request the graphical presentation and manipulation application from server 120. In response, server 120 may transmit portions of the graphical presentation and manipulation application for local execution at client entities 110. The graphical presentation and manipulation application may thus execute as a distributed application across server 120 and one or more of client entities 110.
User interface 317 and client engine 316 together act to improve speed and performance of traditional browser-based web applications. In one embodiment, client engine 316 may add a client-side layer that can handle many of the user interactions with user interface 317. Instead of loading a web page at the start of a user session, browser 115 may load client engine 316 from server 120 (or, alternatively, from a local cache). Client engine 316 may then be responsible for rendering the interface the user sees, performing calculations or other processing based on user information and interactions, and communicating with server 120 on the user's behalf. Client engine 316 may allow the user's interaction with the graphical presentation and manipulation application to happen asynchronously, i.e., independent of communication with server 120.
Some portions of client engine 316 may be cached at client entity 110 from a previous session, in which case these portions may not need to be re-downloaded from server 120. In some embodiments, the programming code that makes up client engine 316 may be implemented in a modular manner. In this situation, portions of client engine 316 may be transmitted to client 110 on an as demand basis as the functionality of those portions of client engine 316 are needed by client 110. For example, client engine 316 may implement a number of “core” functions, such as basic user interaction and display functions, that are always transmitted to client 110. Examples of core functions may include user interface element display (e.g., buttons, backgrounds, effects, etc.). Other functions, such as the display of specific graphical model views, may be transmitted to client entity 110 upon request.
Because client engine 316 can be transmitted to client entity 110 as needed by client entity 110, the graphical presentation and manipulation application may be an entirely web-based application in which client entity 110 does not need to pre-install any portion of client engine 316 other than the portion included within browser 115. In some embodiments, additional software, such as a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), may be used in conjunction with browser 115 to execute client engine 316. Advantageously, a user may typically be able to use the graphical presentation and manipulation application from virtually any computing device that includes a compatible browser 115 and that is connected to network 140.
Client engine 316, once loaded at client entity 110, may present, via user interface 317, an interactive environment for presenting and manipulating a 3D model (block 404). This interactive environment is the data object that the graphical presentation and manipulation application presents to the user in browser 115. In one embodiment, users may interface with the interactive environment to retrieve, view, and manipulate views of a 3D model.
In one embodiment consistent with exemplary embodiments described herein, control elements 540 may include direction buttons 545 and manipulation mode buttons 550. Exemplary direction buttons 545 may include a left button 555, a right button 560, an up button 565, a down button 570, while exemplary manipulation mode buttons 550 may include a rotate mode button 575, a zoom mode button 580, and a pan mode button 585. Details regarding the effect of selection of any of control elements 540 will be described in additional detail below.
In response to the selection of one of direction buttons 545, client engine 316 may determine whether a view corresponding to the selected view 520 has been previously cached on client entity 110 (e.g., in one or memories 230, 240, or 250) (block 408). As will be described in additional detail below, the frequency and content of model views that may be cached or stored on client entity 110 may be based on several factors including, but not limited to, previous viewings, predicted viewings, and a speed of network 140.
When it is determined that a view corresponding to the selected shifted view has been previously cached on client entity 110, the cached view may be retrieved into environment 510 and displayed in browser 115 (block 410). However, when it is determined that a view corresponding to the selected view has not been previously cached on client entity 110, client engine 316 may request the selected view from front-end component 326 on server 120 (block 412).
In one embodiment consistent with exemplary embodiments described herein, front-end component 326, upon receipt of a view request from client entity 110, may initially determine whether a view corresponding to the selected view is cached within front-end component 326 (block 414). If so, front-end component 326 may transmit the selected view to client engine 316 (block 416). Processing may then continue to block 410 described above, where the received view may be displayed in environment 510. However, if a view corresponding to the selected view is not cached within front-end component 326, front-end component 326 may request the view from back-end component 327 (block 418).
In one exemplary embodiment, client engine 316 may perform processing or enhancement on the received view prior to display in interactive environment 510. For example, client engine 316 may perform interpolation, image smoothing, etc., to improve an appearance of the received view. The processing may be based on user input or remote inputs (e.g., from a network device). More specifically, it may be determined that available bandwidth is less than optimal. In this event, image processing/enhancement operations may be performed to avoid having to request additional or higher resolution images from server 120. In one embodiment, the image processing/enhancement may be performed on an additional network device. Alternatively, the image processing/enhancement may be shared with another client entity 110.
Back-end component 327 may extract a 2D view corresponding to the selected view from the 3D model (block 420) and may transfer the extracted 2D view to the front end component 326 for relay to client engine 316 (block 422). The process may continue to block 416, where the selected 2D view may be transmitted from front-end component 326 to client engine 316. Optionally, the extracted 2D view may be cached at front-end component 326 to enhance responsiveness of server 120 in responding to subsequent requests for the selected view from this or another client entity 110.
Returning to block 406, client engine 316 may receive a user selection of rotate mode button 575. Upon receipt of a selection of rotate mode button 575, client engine 316 may place interactive environment 510 into a rotation mode (block 424,
In accordance with the exemplary embodiments described herein, responsiveness of graphical presentation and manipulation application may be substantially enhanced by providing for the asynchronous retrieval and display of 2D model views, rather than an entire 3D visualization of the model. More specifically, upon receiving a user request to view a selected 3D model at front-end component 326, back-end component 327 may generate or open the selected model. Front-end component 326 may then extract or retrieve a 2D view representing the selected view and relay or transmit the 2D view to client entity 110.
In one exemplary embodiment, the 2D views may take the form of compressed image files, such as gif, jpeg, bmp, or png files, although any suitable graphic format may be used. In addition to compressed image formats, various other image formats, such as vector graphics formats (e.g., VML, SVG, etc.) may be used in accordance with the embodiments described herein.
In one embodiment, each 2D view may include multiple related image files, such that portions of the 2D view may be received and displayed prior to other portions of the 2D view. Additionally, each 2D view received from front-end component 326 may include data sufficient to enable client engine 316 to reconstruct an entirety of the selected 2D view. Alternatively, view data transmitted from server 120 to client 110 may include only changed view data, thereby reducing bandwidth requirements necessary to display the desired 2D view.
In relation to block 416 described above, retrieval of the selected shifted view from front-end component 326 on server 120 may include retrieval of additional ones of the multiple related image files associated with the selected shifted view. For example, upon selection of left button 555, client engine 316 may determine whether multiple image files associated with a left-shifted view of the model (e.g., shifted by approximately 1 inch or 120 pixels) have been cached and, if not, client engine 316 may request the multiple image files associated with a left-shifted view of the model from front-end component 326.
Once a selected view has been received, client engine 316 may proceed to block 408 (described above) where it is determined whether a view (or discrete portions or elements of a view) corresponding to the selected view has been previously cached on client entity 110. As described briefly above, the frequency and content of model views or view elements that may be cached or stored on client entity 110 may be based on several factors including, but not limited to, previous viewings, predicted viewings, and speed or latency of network 140.
Returning to block 406 (
If a cached view corresponding to the selected zoom level and center point has not been previously stored, client engine 316 may scale (e.g., pixel scale) at least a portion of the image or images currently being presented to correspond to the desired zoom level (block 442). Although rapid scaling of the previously presented view image or images may result in a less than optimal viewing experience, it may present users with a substantially instantaneous representation of the selected zoom level. Substantially simultaneously, client engine 316 may request an optimal or full resolution view corresponding to the selected zoom level and center point from front-end component 326 (block 444). The process may then proceed to block 414 (
Following retrieval of a full resolution view image or images corresponding to the selected zoom level and center point, view 720 of
Returning to block 406 (
As described above, in one embodiment, each displayed view may include of a number of sub-images.
Client engine 316 may receive a pan request based on input from input device 260 (block 448). Client engine 316 may initially determine whether view 810 or view sub-images 820 corresponding to the selected view 810 have been previously cached on client entity 110 (e.g., in one of memories 230, 240, or 250) (block 450). As will be described in additional detail below, the frequency and content of model views or view sub-images that may be cached or stored on client entity 110 may be based on several factors including, but not limited to, previous viewings, predicted viewings, processing capabilities of client entity 110, and speed of network 140.
When it is determined that view sub-images 820 corresponding to the newly visible sub-images in shifted view 810 have been previously cached on client entity 110, the cached sub-images may be retrieved into environment 510 (block 452) and displayed in browser 115 (block 454). However, when it is determined that a shifted view or view sub-images 820 corresponding to the selected shifted view 810 have not been previously cached on client entity 110, client engine 316 may request the selected view sub-images 820 from server 120 in the manner described in detail above (block 456). Processing may then proceed to block 414 (
In addition to requesting specific, user-requested views from server 120, client engine 316 may also predict likely future view requests (block 940) and may preemptively request view images corresponding to the predicted view requests from server 120 prior to receiving requests for these views from the user (block 950).
In one exemplary embodiment described herein, client engine 316 may predict likely future view requests based on the user's historical viewing behaviors. For example, a user of client entity 110 or graphical presentation and manipulation application may typically request a 30° isometric view and a plan view for opened models. This determination may be made based on an analysis of previous model view requests. In this example, based upon the user's historical preferences, client engine 316 may identify these preferences and may preemptively request and receive views corresponding to the historically requested views, such that subsequent user requests will be addressed more quickly and efficiently.
Consistent with the embodiments described herein, predicted view requests may be based, at least in part, on a type of model or underlying data being analyzed or displayed. For example, a displayed model view corresponding to an aerodynamic structure may result in different predicted view requests, than a model view corresponding to flow characteristics of a water treatment facility. In one implementation, client engine 316 may predict future likely view requests based on the type of model being displayed.
Alternatively, view request predictions may be made based on a database or collection of historical view requests, either collectively across a number of models, or specifically for each available model. In this embodiment, a larger corpus of data may be used to identify trends and to assist in predicting possible view requests for a selected model.
In yet another exemplary embodiment, view request predictions may be made based, at least in part, on stored mappings of input device (e.g., mouse) movements. For example, it may be determined that observing a mouse movement in a vertical direction towards a top portion of a displayed view, while in the rotation mode, may be a precursor of a user request for a down-rotated view. Similarly, it may be determined that observing a mouse movement in a horizontal direction towards a right-hand portion of a displayed view, while in the rotation mode, may be a precursor of a user request for a clockwise-rotated view. Using stored mappings reflective of these preferences, client engine 316 may preemptively request one or more views corresponding to the predicted view requests. As described above with respect to historical view requests, input device movement mappings may be maintained locally with respect to a given user, or may be based on prior input device movements relating to a number of system users. In a collective example, the input device movement mappings may be initially maintained on server 120 and may be transmitted to client engine 316 upon execution of the graphical presentation and manipulation application.
In an ideal environment, the graphical presentation and manipulation application may be executed by an adequately powered client entity 110 on a high-speed, high reliability network 140. Such an environment may provide large amounts of network bandwidth and client entity processing capabilities. In this environment, client engine 316 may identify, request, and receive a number of preemptive view images, thereby minimizing the time taken to display a larger number of possible views.
However, in some instances, network 140 may have lower than optimal bandwidth and/or client entity 110 may have lower than optimal processing capabilities. In these circumstances, client engine 316 may be limited in the amount of processing it may preemptively perform or the number of view images it may preemptively request and receive. For example, client entity 110 may lack sufficient processing capabilities to simultaneously predict likely view requests based on both input device mappings and historical usage patterns.
In one exemplary embodiment, client engine 316 may be configured to adaptively identify view images likely to be requested based on available processing capabilities. For example, if a processor associated with client entity 110 is operating at greater than 90% capacity, view prediction by client engine 316 may be suspended. Alternatively, view prediction by client engine 316 may be restricted to only a single criteria, such as local historical viewing patterns.
Alternatively, client engine 316 may monitor bandwidth and/or latency of network 140. Based on the monitored bandwidth and/or latency, client engine 316 may limit or modify a number or frequency of preemptive view image requests. In this manner, client engine 316 may be adaptively configured to provide an optimal user experience based on the available computing environment.
In another exemplary embodiment described herein, front-end component 326 may be configured to perform similar predictive processing as client engine 316. In this embodiment, client engine 316 may periodically transmit client-side information, such as input device movement mappings and historical view request information to front-end component 326. Front-end component 326 may then identify or predict likely view requests in a manner similar to client engine 316. Front-end component 326 may then retrieve or request view images corresponding to the likely view requests from back-end component 327 in advance of request receipt from client engine 316. By providing prediction at both the client and server sides, a user experience may be most completely optimized.
The above-described functions and operations that are performed by the graphical presentation and manipulation application are exemplary. Through interactive environment 510, the graphical presentation and manipulation application may permit a user to perform numerous additional operations, such as modification of model attributes (e.g., color, texture, etc.), saving or exporting of model views, etc.
In one embodiment, client engine 316 may handle most or all of the functionality associated with responding to user actions relating to navigating and/or presenting environment 510 without needing to contact server 120. Other functions of the graphical presentation and manipulation application, such as the rendering or extraction of two-dimensional views from three-dimensional models, may be handled by logic in server 120. By handling formatting and user actions locally at client entity 110, the graphical presentation and manipulation application can provide a high level of responsiveness to user actions that tend to occur frequently and for which users expect immediate feedback.
In alternative embodiments, the division of functions executed at client engine 316, front-end component 326, and back-end component 327 may be modified such that client engine 316 handles more or fewer functions and similarly, front-end component 326 and back-end component 327 may also handle more or fewer functions. In one exemplary embodiment, a client entity 110 having reduced memory and/or processing capabilities may be connected to an additional network device capable of sharing memory and/or processing resources with client 110. Such a network device may be operatively connected to client device 110 via a LAN or other network environment. In an extension of this embodiment, client entity 110 may use a memory on the network device to cache or maintain previously received or predictively received views from server 120.
In another exemplary embodiment, server 120 may be configured as a technical computing environment (TCE) that allows users to perform tasks related to disciplines, such as, but not limited to, mathematics, science, engineering, medicine, business, etc., more efficiently than if the tasks were performed in another type of computing environment, such as an environment that required the user to develop code in a conventional programming language such as C++, C, Fortran, Pascal, etc.
In one embodiment, the server-based TCE may include a dynamically typed language that can be used to express problems and/or solutions in mathematical notations familiar to those of skill in the relevant arts. For example, the server-based TCE may use an array as a basic element, where the array may not require dimensioning. In addition, the server TCE may be adapted to perform matrix and/or vector formulations that can be used for data analysis, data visualization, application development, simulation, modeling, algorithm development, etc. These matrix and/or vector formulations may be used in many areas, such as statistics, image processing, signal processing, control design, life sciences modeling, discrete event analysis and design, state based analysis and design, etc.
The server-based TCE may further provide mathematical functions and/or graphical tools (e.g., for creating plots, surfaces, images, volumetric representations, etc.). In one embodiment, the server-based TCE may provide these functions and/or tools using toolboxes (e.g., toolboxes for signal processing, image processing, data plotting, distributed processing, etc.). In another embodiment, the server-based TCE may provide these functions as block sets. In still another embodiment, the server-based TCE may provide these functions in another way, such as via a library, etc. The server-based TCE may be implemented as a text based environment, a graphically based environment, or another type of environment, such as a hybrid environment that is both text and graphically based.
In another alternative embodiment, the server-based TCE may be implemented using one or more text-based products. For example, a text-based the server-based TCE, may be implemented using products such as, but not limited to, MATLAB® by The MathWorks, Inc.; Octave; Python; Comsol Script; MATRIXx from National Instruments; Mathematica from Wolfram Research, Inc.; Mathcad from Mathsoft Engineering & Education Inc.; Maple from Maplesoft; Extend from Imagine That Inc.; Scilab from The French Institution for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA); Virtuoso from Cadence; or Modelica or Dymola from Dynasim. The text-based TCE may support one or more commands that support code generation, constraints generation, constraints checking, etc.
In another alternative embodiment, the server-based TCE may be implemented as a graphically-based TCE using products such as, but not limited to, Simulink®, Stateflow®, SimEvent™, etc., by The MathWorks, Inc.; VisSim by Visual Solutions; LabView® by National Instruments; Dymola by Dynasim; SoftWIRE by Measurement Computing; WiT by DALSA Coreco; VEE Pro or SystemVue by Agilent; System VIEW from Elanix, Vision Program Manager from PPT Vision, Khoros from Khoral Research, Gedae by Gedae, Inc.; Scicos from (INRIA); Virtuoso from Cadence, Rational Rose from IBM, Rhopsody or Tau from Telelogic; or aspects of a Unified Modeling Language (UML) or SysML environment. The graphically-based TCE may support code generation, constraints generation, constraints checking, etc.
In another alternative embodiment, a language that is compatible with a product that includes a server-based TCE, such as one or more of the above identified text-based or graphically-based TCE's, may be used. For example, MATLAB (a text-based TCE) may use a first command to represent an array of data and a second command to transpose the array. Another TCE may be MATLAB-compatible and may be able to use the array command, the array transpose command, or other MATLAB commands. For example, the language may use the MATLAB commands to perform distributed processing.
In another alternative embodiment, the server-based TCE may be implemented in a hybrid TCE that combines features of a text-based and graphically-based TCE. In one embodiment, one TCE may operate on top of the other TCE. For example, a text-based TCE (e.g., MATLAB) may operate as a foundation and a graphically-based TCE (e.g., Simulink) may operate on top of MATLAB and may take advantage of text-based features (e.g., commands) to provide a user with a graphical user interface and graphical outputs (e.g., graphical displays for data, dashboards to monitor commands and status, etc.)
A client/server-based graphical presentation and manipulation application is described herein that executes in a distributed manner over a network. The networked graphical presentation and manipulation application can generally be used without requiring a user to install any specific software prior to using the application.
The foregoing description of exemplary embodiments of the invention provides illustration and description, but is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practice of the invention. For example, in some embodiments, server 120 may provide one or more application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow different content providers to integrate elements of the graphical presentation and manipulation application into their thin client applications or web sites.
Moreover, while series of acts have been described with regard to
Aspects of the invention, as described above, may be implemented in many different forms of software, firmware, and hardware in the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the figures. The actual software code or specialized control hardware used to implement aspects consistent with the exemplary embodiments is not limiting of the invention. Thus, the operation and behavior of the exemplary embodiments of the invention were described without reference to the specific software code—it being understood that one would be able to design software and control hardware to implement the described embodiments based on the description herein.
Further, certain portions of the invention may be implemented as “logic” or a “component” that performs one or more functions. This logic may include hardware, such as an application specific integrated circuit or a field programmable gate array, software, or a combination of hardware and software.
No element, block, or instruction used in the description of the invention should be construed as critical or essential to the invention unless explicitly described as such. Also, as used herein, the article “a” is intended to include one or more items. Where only one item is intended, the term “one” or similar language is used. Further, the phrase “based on” is intended to mean “based, at least in part, on” unless explicitly stated otherwise.
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